On May 26, Gizcoupon reported that according to Reuters, Israeli AI company Watchful Technologies has revealed that TikTok is testing an AI chatbot. This tool engages with users on short video-related queries and assists them in discovering content. Watchful Technologies claims to have discovered the AI chatbot called “Tako” within the TikTok application on Apple devices.
TikTok AI Chatbot features
The company has shared screenshots and videos with Reuters, displaying the chatbot appearing as a ghost-shaped icon on the app interface. Users can click on it while watching videos to engage in text-based conversations and seek assistance pertaining to video content.
Regarding Tako, a TikTok spokesperson mentioned that the social media platform has been exploring new technologies. “In certain markets, we are testing new ways to enhance search and discovery on TikTok. We look forward to learning from our community as we continue to build a safe, entertaining, creative, and culturally relevant platform.”
In April of this year, US media reported that TikTok was experimenting with a generative AI tool that allows users to create virtual avatars. Gizcoupon has noticed that last month, TikTok filed a trademark application for “Tako” with the United States Patent and Trademark Office. It falls under categories including “computer software for artificial generation of human speech and text.”
Watchful Technologies talks about Tako
Watchful Technologies researcher Daniel Buczkowski stated that, unlike general-purpose chatbots like ChatGPT, Tako functions more like a navigation assistant. Its primary goal is to encourage users to watch more videos. “So if you ask, ‘When was King Charlie crowned?’ Tako will provide you with an answer, but you will also be presented with related TikTok videos,” he explained.
Watchful Technologies demonstrated another example where Tako responds to a user’s question, such as “How can we teach children to respect others?” The chatbot provides an answer while also recommending relevant videos based on the insights gathered from TikTok users.
TikTok has implemented a disclaimer stating that Tako is an experimental chatbot, and its responses may be inaccurate. In addition, the company reviews user conversations with Tako for safety purposes and warns against sharing personal information with it.